Heroic line crew saves the day

First look at the photo, then think of the following: The passenger of this car escaped with only minor injuries because of the quick and skilled response of our Athol, MA electric crews.
vehicle crash into utility pole

Vehicle crash into utility poleResponding to the scene of an accident where an electric pole is damaged is common for line crews across our service territory, but when crew members Todd Martinelli and Gary Martinelli were the first on the scene of this accident, their role and the role of their colleagues turned from a typical restoration effort to emergency response.

Upon approaching the scene, the two quickly noticed that there was an accident victim in need of help – a woman was pinned inside the vehicle by the pole, which had broken and pierced through the windshield. She was trapped – and the pole would need to be secured before a rescue attempt could take place.

Vehicle crash into utility poleAfter alerting emergency officials, Todd and Gary called in for National Grid reinforcements to assist, including trouble shooter Tony Musnicki and Ben Allen, Ray Dulak, and Peter Suchocki who arrived with equipment and a bucket truck. The team waited for emergency responders to cut away parts of the car to free the woman, but after several unsuccessful attempts to get her out, they were asked to assist: Was there any way our crew could remove the pole safely so that the responders could get to her?

The crew coordinated with one another to make a plan – they were able to stabilize the broken piece of the pole using chains attached to diggers, allowing Gary the opportunity to cut a large section of the pole away to remove its weight on the vehicle.  With the weight of the pole lifted, the woman was freed by the emergency personnel with only minor injuries.

Following the rescue, a police officer who was on the site reached out to the crew members’ supervisor to say how impressed he had been with the teamwork and coordination that our employees had exhibited. He remarked that their level-headed approach helped keep the accident victim calm during the process.

We want to give a big shout-out to Todd, Tony, Gary, Ben, Ray and Peter for exhibiting such professionalism in the face of an emergency. It’s fair to say our heroic line crew really did save the day.


Jim Cutting

Nice job guys, you are an asset to the company and deserve the praise you get!!!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *